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Paul starts this podcast off by mentioning how they have a new couple to live in the tipi because Tony and Emily are moving on to other adventures. Then they talk about their one source of drama at the lab, the pig bucket.It is just a bucket of scraps to take to the pigs but it became this huge problem. They discuss the details and share how they resolved it. Similarly, they are now putting labels on everything for all the new people. They talk about other community issues and resolutions for quite a while.

Next, they move into talking about the 41 Sepp Holzer grains that they recently obtained. Richard planted 21 of the seeds from Sepp Holzer and had a 100% germination success! So they will plant the rest of those next spring. Paul explains how excited he is to have Holzer’s grains on their place. They talk about how they now have a haybox cooker all set up that Sam made. Originally he had hay as the insulation but that really didn’t work despite its misleading name. Now they have wool in it and it is working perfectly.

Paul mentions that they have been looking at purchasing an observation journal but they are super expensive. However, they are trying to make art and aesthetics a big point so they might be buying a nice one soon. He talks about how he doesn’t actually know what it means to make aesthetics a bigger priority and that it's important to not really try to know. They talk about different ways of observation, with apps and journals. Jocelyn talks about how the observation journal is more about sitting and thinking and writing without distraction of texting so the apps aren't what they want. The idea is that you find a spot away from everything and spend about 45 minutes writing every detail of everything that you can see. What plants can you see and identify? What bug do you see? What’s in bloom right now? What does the soil look like? All these sorts of questions are important to this observation time. Paul talks about how he originally thought this was a waste of time and then he realized that he started noticing things he would never have noticed before. He had become intertwined more with the realness of the moment, although he says it is hard to describe.

They then begin discussing chef Seth coming out to the labs. Jocelyn mentions that they will not have any formal workshops but they are going to have a potluck to discuss the ideas of a permaculture kitchen. Seth teaches food preservation and butchering classes and kind of takes an urban homestead vision to that. They talk a little bit about how Seth would love to start building fodder for a book or dvd. Also they make it known that they are still looking for a new kitchen commander. They drop in the announcement that they got official word that Willie Smits will be there for sure!

Next they talk about how there have been no women at the labs. They have been brain storming ways to get more women out there and just trying to understand why there has been such a lack of women there and they think a big part of it is the construction phase that the lab is currently in. They say that it’s been fun to see all the different types of the way people prepare food. Jocelyn talks about how there has been lots of dried herbs and plants for teas. Also many people have been making mead and kombucha.

They talk about animals a bit how a lot of calves have been born and a few puppies as well. Richard and Paul went over plans to plant hummingbird forage and bee forage as well. They chat a little bit about honey getting rid of knapweed.

They mention how there were lots of people have asked to hear about their mistakes and they say how they are glad to share their mistakes. They talk a bit more about living in a community and the positives and negatives. Paul thinks the only way for it to work is have one dictator. So that way people can bring their issues to one person instead of each person having to talk to each person. The community stuff is getting better. And the most important part is that they have a tiny bit of drama compared to other communities. They end by talking about how much they have accomplished and how much velocity they are gaining.

Relevant Threads

Being an Asshole is Relative
Kitchen and House Commander
State of the Lab

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Some things :

The pig bucket discussion was important to me, thank you.

Labels require reading. Many of us are heading into a post literate world. Reading is.... hard. Setting expectations without words is good UX design in the physical world helps out tremendously. Easy things tend to happen. Hard things tend to ... happen less. There are a couple things I'd like to share that may help some if they are new to the reader.

1. The Design of Everyday Things Paperback – September 19, 2002 : Have you ever walked up to a nice stylish building with glass doors and had to wonder how to open the lovely award winning doors? That's bad design. Good design requires no extra thought or action to do the right thing. This book goes into some of that.
2. Poka Yoke : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poka-yoke, mistake proofing. There are a bunch of awesome simple solutions to making mistakes less likely or more obvious when they occur. The favorite I heard of comes from the ice breakers on the American great lakes. The people building them wanted to insure that they were not 'borrowed' after they were built. The builders built them larger than the locks between the lakes and the ocean. They are never leaving. Simple and safe. The same sort of thing happens with some high value materials, if they are contained in vessels larger than the door, it is harder to get them out of that door and hopefully someone will notice and stop the stupidity when the door is being disassembled.

Poke Yoke for the sprout jar could be as simple as giving it a stand with the labels on the jars reading correctly when they are in the correct position.
( http://www.beyondvitality.com/Public/Post/Images/85/Sprout%20Jars.jpg ) for example. Or as complicated as reforming the jars so that they could only possibly sit on a counter in the right attitude.

e.g.2 in other cases you get something like IKEA furniture. Where it only goes together one way and all the other ways are quite visibly wrong.

e.g.3 Always looking for a pen? Tie it to the clipboard.

When it does happen, I'd suggest calling the new bucket something else when the system can be forged. There are empty kitchen awesome receptacles, there are also full Paddock side awesome reservoirs.

Maybe it needs a simple rule. In Cuba any state vehicle with a spare seat is suppose to stop for anyone who needs a lift. I think it was Paul who said 'ABC' Always Be Carrying something. 9 times out of 10 something else probably needs to go where you happen to be going. Look for it. or something.

I look forward to the progress on this important topic...

The other thing was I'd still argue that Wheaton labs is run by consensus rules. The consensus is that The Duke is in charge. If one does not participate in this understanding then that one is simply no longer self identifying as in the group the consensus is drawn from. Consensus wins! It's a lab with a mission rather than a shared living space.

Good luck! and thank you again.

What a show! What atmosphere! What fun! What a tiny ad!
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